DEGUSSA, one of Europe's largest gold and precious metals retailer, is opening a branch in Singapore, its first outside Europe.
With the opening of the 3,000-square-foot branch near Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station on Wednesday evening, Degussa hopes to capture the growing retail market for gold and precious metals not only in Singapore but also in Asia.
"Singapore is not yet a big wholesale market (for gold) like Hong Kong is, but we bank on retail clients and Singapore is an ideal market to start with," said Wolfgang Wrzesniok-Rossbach, chief executive officer of Degussa, in an interview with The Business Times on Wednesday morning at its Singapore branch.
The Singapore branch will offer a range of physical bullion products, including gold, silver and platinum coins of various weights, and investment bars.
It will also retail gift collection items, including pure gold cufflinks and gold watches, in a specially designed showroom.
In addition, the branch also offers safe deposit box rental services for customers who wish to safekeep their valuables with Degussa.
Degussa aims to start its online store for the Singapore market in two weeks' time. It also plans to allow customers to cash in their scrap gold in the near future.
Mr Wrzesniok-Rossbach highlighted the strong and timeless appeal that gold has for Asian consumers, and said that sales of jewellery and accessories will be a key segment of the Singapore branch's operations. For example, customers who hope to gift their children or grandchildren will find something to their liking at the branch.
"Because this same gold has been recycled over millennia and its value remains," he said, pointing to a Degussa 1kg gold bar. "When you touch this, you have one atom in it that came from Cleopatra's crown."